Match Report: 2011/2012 Season

6 August 2011: CHAMPIONSHIP
Reading: Manset (86 mins, 89 mins).
Millwall: Henderson (49 mins), Marquis (62 mins).
Half Time: 0-0.

Attendance: 18,531

Pos Team P Pts GD
11 Portsmouth 1 1 +0
12 READING 1 1 +0
13 Watford 1 1 +0
Reading: A Federici, I Harte, A Griffin, A Pearce, B Khumalo, J McAnuff, M Leigertwood, J Kebe, J Karacan (M Manset, 68), N Hunt (H Robson-Kanu, 68), S Long
Subs not used: J Obita, B Gunnarsson, A McCarthy.
Millwall: D Forde, P Robinson, T Mkandawire, T Craig, D Ward, A Dunne, H Bouazza (S Barron, 68), L Trotter, J Henry (C Hackett, 79), D Henderson, J Marquis (N Abdou, 87).
Subs not used: S Mildenhall, T Racon
Reading: Pearce.
Millwall: Dunne, Barron, Marquis, Henderson.
Ref: Anthony Bates.

Millwall came to defend in numbers and hit us on the break and it nearly worked for them. Then knew to double up on our wingers and make us work to break them down and we struggled. First half I thought we looked vulnerable but the better side by some way. Lost our way second half and fell apart for about half an hour when they scored. Good spirit to come back. Promising and worrying, but pace at full back, and left side of defence in general, is worrying. Karacan and Legs not up to speed and same old problem of close down our flanks and we struggle to create good chances. But we could have got several more and Millwall came to stop us. Equally though Millwall missed a couple of easy chances.
Ian Royal

Actually I am happier with this kinda draw than I would have been with a 3-0 victory. Opening matches are funny things and I don't usually take too much, positive or negative, from the results. But the way the team clawed back and got the point does tell me where their collective competitive heads are at...and that looks to be a very good place. So I am not too concerned with how the individual players rated on Saturday...heart-wise I give them all a 10.

Only one change to the team from last season with Bongo in, failed to jump to win a header which is a bit concerning since he is a centre back. The side needs to be freshened up as the the back four did not look good with Harte and Griifins days numbered... We need some youth in these positions, if we do not change it now we will get exposed game after game. I saw too much of the old, same play, no one in the box, no delivery from Kebe, how many times did he hit the 1st defender. Take the point, we are better off than we have been over recent seasons mid table after one game, not bottom three, 107 points is on!!
The Real Sandhurst Royal

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Reading came back from a two-goal deficit to salvage a dramatic draw against Millwall thanks to substitute Mathieu Manset. Millwall had taken a stranglehold of the game courtesy of headers from Darius Henderson and John Marquis. The visitors appeared set for victory before the intervention of Manset, who pulled a goal back for Reading with a long range strike after 86 minutes. He followed that up with an equalising header from Jimmy Kebe's cross. Reading spent the summer nursing the wounds of their play-off final defeat to Swansea at the end of last season and it seemed they had not fully recovered. Royals striker Shane Long has been linked with leaving the club and he was struggling to make an impact as both sides cancelled each other out in the first half. The stalemate lasted until shortly after the break when ex-Reading striker Henderson struck as he got on the end of a cross from the lively James Henry. The goal stirred Reading and Long into greater action and the striker controlled Jem Karacan's pass before rifling a shot against the crossbar. Noel Hunt also came close to levelling for Reading but was agonisingly inches away as he strived to meet a drilled Kebe cross before Millwall doubled their lead after 62 minutes. Henry and Liam Trotter combined to set up Marquis to provide the finishing touch. Manset was introduced by Reading boss Brian McDermott and the substitution proved an inspired move as he scored twice to rescue a point for the home side.
BBC Sport

Substitute Mathieu Manset salvaged a point for Reading with two late goals in a dramatic 2-2 draw against Millwall. Reading saw their Premier League dream shattered by Swansea in a 4-2 defeat at Wembley in May but staked their claim to be among the frontrunners again this season with a fine comeback. Former Reading striker Darius Henderson put the away side ahead before John Marquis doubled their advantage, but Manset, introduced in the 68th minute, grabbed a late double to ensure the spoils were shared. The hosts started brightly, with Jimmy Kebe flashing a shot narrowly wide of David Forde's near post. At the other end Hamer Bouazza jinked his way to the edge of the box before firing wide as the visitors signalled their intent. James Henry whipped in a corner soon after and found the head of Tamika Mkandawire but his effort failed to trouble Adam Federici. Reading's in-demand striker Shane Long, who scored 28 goals in the last campaign, had to leave the field for treatment in the 20th minute but he was reintroduced soon after. Kebe continued to threaten with his pace, drifting past two opponents before being thwarted by Mkandawire as he lined up a shot. Both sides struggled to maintain the pace they had set in the early stages as the first half drew to a close. But there was nothing he could do to keep out Henderson's header four minutes into the second half, with the lively Henry providing the cross from the left. Brian McDermott's side responded positively and Long did superbly well to control Jem Karacan's pass before rifling a shot against the crossbar. Hunt came within inches of levelling the scores on the hour but could not quite make contact with Kebe's drilled cross. But it was the visitors who struck next when, in 62nd minute, Henry and Liam Trotter linked well before laying on a cross for Marquis to provide the finish. The experienced Ian Harte tried to rally his team-mates and fizzed in a low cross which somehow eluded everyone in the packed penalty area. McDermott made a late double change, introducing Manset and Hal Robson-Kanu for Hunt and Karacan. Manset gave Reading a glimmer of hope with a stunning long-range drive in the 86th minute then headed home Kebe's cross with a minute of normal time remaining.
The Telegraph